Monday, May 16, 2005

We Didn't Need This

Despite the fact that nearly half of what comes out of Bill O'Reilly's and Sean Hannity's mouths is false, misconstrued or at least out of context, the political right -- lacking entirely any sense of shame -- is quick to jump on any misstatement by the mainstream press as evidence of liberal bias.
So Newsweek's backtracking on the Guantanamo/Koran blasphemy story was particularly unwelcome. We'll now have to listen to sanctimonious claptrap from O'Reilly, Hannity, Bush, McClellan and others for days on end.
And I'm willing to bet that the story is true anyway. What we've got here is a lack of a paper trail -- a serious error in journalism, to be sure -- but not a false story. The worst thing that has happened here is that Newsweek decided to cave to White House pressure, instead of redoubling efforts to confirm its story.